4 out of 4 stars
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We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is the first book in the We Are Voulhire series. It is a book that tells of a world where technology, magic, and good old knights and warriors exist. A world where the citizens are hard-working and the king loves his people, but as it is the case in every kingdom, there are those whose sole desire is to acquire power at whatever costs.
The book starts with a glorious and rather bloody display of the magical strength of the feared Lord Meldorath. In this scene, Lord Meldorath was on a mission to sack the current Lord of Hillport – Lord Orlin – and have him arrested for his pedophilic acts in the town. After Lord Orlin's death, Meldorath becomes the new Lord of the Hillport. However, this status was not to last as Lord Meldorath himself is found wanting for playing with lives as if they are toys, an act that is a norm in the Lands of the Princes.
As all that goes on, 28-year-old Galen Bray is fleeing his war-torn home town on a small boat that is en route to Voulhire. This opportunity comes to him when his great uncle’s executor, Rowan, seeks him out and lets him know on papers that he is to inherit his great uncle’s business and properties back in Magnum Caelum. On arriving in this new city that was to be his new home, he is overwhelmed with the peace and abundance of joy, food, and riches that the country of Voulhire seems to enjoy. Upon the insistence of Rowan, he sets out on a journey to find materials that will make him a richer blacksmith than his uncle ever was. Little does he know that this is the start of a very long and thrilling adventure in the land of Voulhire.
To say that I enjoyed reading We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies is an understatement. I loved everything about the book – well everything except the unnumbered pages. The novel offers a healthy dose of mystery, suspense, humor, and a little bit of action that is described in the prologue. Main characters such as Galen Bray, Rowan, Demetrius, King William, Meldorath, etc. were properly developed – a fact that is the bedrock of any good book.
I noticed that the chapters are not titled as many books are. Each chapter is named after a character and these chapters tell the story of the characters after which they are named. This is an unusual style of writing, but I cannot say that I hate it. I fell in love with the style because it amazed me how an author can handle so many characters – most of whose paths never crossed each other in the book – and so many different stories that will be connected as the series progresses.
I know that Galen is everyone’s hero. You can’t help but love him for his kindness and naivety, but my favorite character in the book is Rowan. His sense of humor is just premium gold. I cannot tell you how many times a witty response to a statement or question asked got me howling with laughter. My favorite of his usual humorous display is when he said, "Well, I'm not much into kink, but I really want to call you Demi." when Demetrius said, "…if you call me Demi again, I will lock you in a crushing singularity from which there is no escape." I cannot believe anybody alive can be this carefree and funny even in the face of a threat to his life.
The only thing I disliked about the book is the fact that the author thought it unnecessary to number the pages of this book. Despite this being the case, I give We Are Voulhire: A New Arrival Under Great Skies a 4 out of 4 stars rating. I refuse to let this single dislike force me to deduct even a single star from the book’s rating. The reason for this decision is that the book was edited professionally. I did not see any error in the book; the plot progressed at an enjoyable pace, the author paid much attention to character development, and the story told was very interesting to read.
I recommend this to fantasy lovers of 13 years and above. I am sure that this book and the series as a whole will satisfy your fictional cravings. However, because the author was quite generous in his use of expletives and profanities, I suggest that this book should not be read by fantasy lovers younger than 13. If you are older than 13 and you do not mind the use of curse words and the likes, then I strongly recommend that you grab yourself a copy of this book and let the author take you on a journey into Voulhire, the country of magic, knights, technology, and mysteries.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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